Boylston Quads Today

Boylston Today
I won the top quad at the Boylston today. I won my first two games against Jacob Fauman and Neil Cousin and held Carey Theil to a draw in the last round (See games below). Also the two guys I went with won their quads! Eric Lawless won his quad 3-0! Michael Raphael tied for first with 2/3. That quad was truly amazing- 4 1800s and in the first two rounds, all games were drawn.. not something that usually happens other than in super GM tournaments..

In my first round game, I gained a considerable advantage albeit forgetting most of the theory in the line. However, I played the dubious move 16.h4 which gave black considerable counter counterplay. However as Fauman got into time pressure he ultimately walked into a mating net and ended up flagging.. However, just as I saw the MSA, I noticed he recently made expert- Congrats to him!

My second round game was a little more straight forward- my opponent wasn’t particularly prepared on the Alekhine and I received an advantage early on which led to winning the exchange. Although my technique as far from perfect and the game and lasted way longer than it should have (63 moves), I never did lose the advantage.

Lastly again Theil, I was in the typical last round situation, where all you need is a draw to win the tournament.. a situation which can be mentally challenging as it is often tempting to play passively for a draw. Theil played a side line of the Alekhine,which is supposed to lead to an equal endgame, which did occur. He fought hard to win, even sacking a bishop for two pawns as you can see, but ultimately the draw was in hand either way.

So overall it was a pretty good tournament- I did get a little lucky in the first round, but thats life.. Im look forward to the USATE next week! I know there’s going to be plenty of good teams as always, but I’ll be going for my second USATE title!

Tiny bit of Chess and school/ Grammys/ Other Concerts

So, before i go on to talk about music, Ill rant a bit about chess and coaching at the cities this past weekend. I went to New York just for the weekend to be one of the Browning coaches. After attending Hebrew class and volleyball on Friday, I ventured out in the cold to the Commuter rail into Boston to catch a 3:00 PM bus. Unfortunately, the 2:08 commuter rail was 40(!) minutes late, ie. there was no way I would make the bus. I know the CR runs late all the time but not 40 minutes… I accounted it might come 10 minutes late so I would get to Porter square around 2:30 to get to South Station at 2:50 but to no avail:(. As many of you should know by now, I do not get along very well with the Boston transit system. Anyhow, fortunately enough I did not have to pay extra on the 4:00 bus.

So, I got into New York pretty late at around 9:15 and did some work and went to sleep as I had to wake up nice and early to get to the New Yorker at 8, a process that did happen to repeat itself the next day. Overall, I enjoyed working there; as it is enjoyable working with the kids and Browning as whole did rather well. However, it was somewhat of a rough commute and I am exhausted now, as I almost fell asleep twice in Anthropology and Introduction to International Global Studies today; however, not to worry, I shall sleep late tomorrow as I have no classes then:). I dropped the International Political Economy course as I still have a heavy course load this semester. In addition, I did not particularly like the fact that the whole grade or at least 85 percent of it’s grade was based on one essay and one final. What do you think of a course having so few assessments? anyways enough of school and chess talk….. A lot of music to catch up on!

A few days after the USATE(only two weeks away!) is Clapton/Beck! My friend Jon and I lodge seats right as closest to the floor as you can get:) Here’s some pics of Clapton/ Winwood and their supporting band the last time I saw Clapton in June at the Izod Center in the Meadowlands:

As I was searching my pics of this concert, I came across a few from other concerts that I thought id share:

1) Allman Brothers at Mountain Jam!

Of course I was happy to see Greg Allman, one of the best song-writers and rock/blues musicians of all time wearing a Yankees hat:)

2) Soulfarm at Southpaw: one of my favorite Isreali rock bands… Ok admittedly they began in New York but their music is heavily Isreali influenced

I did not get a chance to watch the Grammys as I was on the bus going back to Boston; although I am happy to realize that I was fortunate to see several of the winners live this year. I heard the winner of Best Traditional Folk Album, Loudon Wainright with “High Wide & Handsome: The Charlie Poole Project”, as he started for Hot Tuna in December. He did sign my copy of his 2008 album,”Recovery”, but unfortunately he was sold out of his new album.. would of been pretty cool to have a signed Grammy winning cd… o well :(..

Another shoutout goes to one of best up-and coming blues guitarists Derek Trucks for winning best contemporary blues album with his new album “Already Free” I saw him several times now, with the Allman brothers a few times, with his own band at Mountain Jam, and with Clapton back in 06.. hes a great soloist who is also a fantastic slide guitar player.. If you haven’t listened to him, be sure to check him out!

I also can’t forget to congratulate ACDC for winning best Hard rock Performance ( War machine) .. I was there at Giants Stadium- was pretty amazing with Angus’s typical walks and screaming; however, I honestly don’t know if should win a Grammy. but great for them! Angus deserves it for still going on tour! However, I definitely think Paul Mcartney deserved a Grammy for Best Rock Performance for his opening at Citifield rather than Kings of Leon. Mcartney wasn’t even nominated.

Last but not least,Jeff Beck won Best Instrumental Performance for his absolutely fantastic rendition of “A day in the Life”. I saw him play at the MGM Foxwoods last year and I absolutely agree with the Grammy’s on that one too. Check it out: ( That was the ny show) He plays with the also amazing 18 year old bassist/ protege Tal Wilkenfeld from Australia. Admittedly not until after that show did I realize I also so her play two years earlier with the Allman Brothers at the Beacon, which does lead me to a sad point that the Allman Brothers have been booted by Circus Solei which after playing month long runs there every year since 1989. However, I will go seem them in March at the United Palace Theater up in Washington Heights.. Ive never been there before.. Expect a post in the future about that:)

One last thing: check out Many bands recorded for a 41 song cd that costs $10 with all money going to AmericaCares for Haiti.. I ordered a copy for myself today. Its great music and more importantly as you all know a great cause.

Interesting Article/ A few other things going on

I thankfully received the constructive criticism that I have been writing too much about chess to keep non-chess players interested in my blog. That brings me to a point:Please do comment criticism as I am new to the “blogsphere” and do want to cater to my readers.

With- that said, I came across an interesting article: It discussed how Las Vegas had more foreclosures than other city in 2009. Admittedly, I did not know what exactly a foreclosure meant so I looked it up:
The legal process by which an owner’s right to a property is terminated, usually due to default. Typically involves a forced sale of the property at public auction, with the proceeds being applied to the mortgage debt. according to ( by the way a very useful site for looking up financial and economic terms)

This article particularly struck me as when I was in Las Vegas for a weeks ago, I discussed with my room-ates Kola and Jon how families could live in Vegas,as a significant percentage of its economy is made up of the Casinos and strip. Therefore, when was saw this article on, I wasn’t particularly surprised. Any thoughts?

So it turns out,I am New York bound tomorrow for the weekend to coach kids at the NYC Scholastics. I am looking forward to a long weekend of waking up early, listening to a bunch of little kids, on top of a lot of reading to do… Wish me luck:)

Boylston Last Weekend/ Pairings Incident

After I won my first game, I had a large dispute with the tournament director regarding the pairings. There were 9 players with 1 point going into the 2nd round. It was clear the lowest should drop down to Shmelov, the highest rated player with 1/2 who took a bye in the first round which he did. However, due to colors, it was unclear how to pair the other ones. As it turns out, if the pairing was done normally, 1 plays 5, 2 plays 6 etc.., two out of the 4 pairings would force players to play without their due color. For this reason, the director did an interchange, in which Instead of pairing me on the top half playing #8, he paired me with Riordan on boad 1. Having not remembered all the rules clearly, I insisted that this was the wrong pairing… Afterwards, I emailed a select group of experienced tds ( senior and national level) for their opinions.. It turns out, I think both the TD and I were at fault. Admittedly, it was a legal pairing, if not better than without the interchange, as my friend and Senior TD Andre Harding said, ” It seems like the correct pairing to me; in even-numbered rounds it is very desirable to equalize colors so that there isn’t a +2 color balance of one color over the other. By interchanging Rabin and Meredith, everyone in the scoregroup was assigned their due color. And, the rating difference was 43 points, well within the 200-point boundary to interchange for color equalization.” Another Senior TD Polly Wright did agree with Andre. However, they also agreed, by the way in mutually exclusive emails, that the director should look into Swiss Sys’s pairings more closely and be able to point out exactly why the pairing is correct in the rulle book, which the Boylston TD was not able to do: “My only gripe is that the TD could not explain what an interchange was, and why it occurred. Had he been able to do that then you would have been able to play the game knowing it was correct pairing.”( Polly Wright). Anyhow, as I did not think the pairing was right, and rather frustrated, I did have a hard time concentrating and spent much of my time analyzing the wall charts and debating with the director the right pairing as I thought the pairings were unfair. Fortunately enough though, during the amount of time I did spend at the board, I defended rather well to a draw and as it turns out I was actually slightly better at one point. Heres the game:

So, I was happy I ultimately did not let my frustrations interfere with my play, which is often one of my biggest weaknesses, as my and on and off coach GM Yudasin always tells me, ” No Evan! You must not play Emotional”:) So looking back at the incident, I do regret arguing as much as I did and due owe the director an apology, which I will give, but at the same time think I wasnt the only one wrong as he should have been able to pin-point in the rule book where his pairing was legal rather than just saying Swiss-Sys is always right and defining what an interchange is. Anyhow life moves on… I shall pay one warm up either at the Waltham club or Boylston the first weekend of February, then play at the USATE with a killer catdog team!